mica substitute

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drsquat posted this 15 March 2007

what does anyone think about using  talcum powder applied to lube bullets to make them easier to handle?

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Ed Harris posted this 16 March 2007

Talc is abrasive and will make a REAL mess in the bore. If you want to make the lube non-tacky you could use calcium stearate instead of motor mica.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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TRKakaCatWhisperer posted this 19 March 2007

So is there an issue with mica?

 

 

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CB posted this 19 March 2007

Mica is abrasive, it would be like shooting a ton of lapping bullets down your bore.

I take it drsquat that you are looking for a way to keep the lube from sticking to your hands correct?

What kind of lube are you using?

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drsquat posted this 20 March 2007

Yes, just looking for a way to cut down on the mess. The lube i am using is Lyman Alox. With a Lyman 450 and a soldering iron attached for heat lol thanks Drsquat

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CB posted this 20 March 2007

If I were you I would consider changing lube. Alox is sticky regarless of what you do to it.

I would try Something else, I take it you are planning to shoot mainly pistol?

Without giving a plug for someones products, I think if you were to puruse the forum I think you would find something that would work better for you.

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Ed Harris posted this 21 March 2007

Calcium stearate comes in flake-granular form, but this breaks down readily if applied in a drum tumbler. A Chock Full-O-Nut coffee scoop full will coat 5000 bullets. Best method to apply is to place 5000 bullets in a 5-gallon bucket and mechanically agitate for one minute. Some commercial casters use a paint shaker for this, but violent agitation will peen the surface of soft cast bullets. I prefer to roll the container while on its side, holding the bucket by the wire bail.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Maven posted this 24 March 2007

I don't thin calcium stearate is available in non-commercial quantities in my area, but would corn starch be a suitable alternative?

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CB posted this 24 March 2007

Well I can tell you it aint cheap! I bet about $50 for 1 LB..

http://www.sciencelab.com

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Geo. posted this 24 March 2007

What you guys (excepting Ed) do not realize is that the suggestion to use Calcium Stearate is an astute one.

Calcium Stearate is the calcium soap of stearic acid. If you dissolved sodium stearate, as in normal soap, in hard water you would get a certain percentage of calcium stearate as hard-water scum.

Back in the days of yore when Col. Harrison and crew did the NRAs seminal work on cast bullets, they noted that waterpump grease made good bullet lube. Waterpump greases were often based in a calcium soap formula.

Alox is a calcium based soap that was originally meant for the auto industry (and others) as a protective coating. I would be more correct to state that the family of Alox protectives contains compounds made of calcium-based soaps.

So--give it a try because the chemistry is correct and advantageous.

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TRKakaCatWhisperer posted this 25 March 2007

I did find it difficult to believe that mica (which FEELS so slick) could be abrasive - until I looked it up!

I wonder if it would be any good for lapping - it does have abrasive qualities, but is MUCH finer than the grade of abrasives used for fire-lapping (closer to toothpaste, and IS found in some brightening toothpastes).

I'll bet the calcium stearate is available for much less - perhaps not at the same grade or quality but at a quality that is perfectly adequate for launching bullets.

It is used in Felix's lube and there are quite a number of folks that make their own bullet lube using it.

 

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Shuz posted this 25 March 2007

TRK--Where did you see that mica was abrasive? I've been using Midway Mica for years to keep the NRA 50/50 and other soft lubes from being soo messy. Now just because I'm using it, doesn't make it right,but how come so many have advocated using it for the same purpose I do? Inquiring minds wanna know? Where can I “look it up"?--thanks,Shuz

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CB posted this 25 March 2007

Mica powder and Talcum powder are made from a same class of mineral from the silicate family. Mica is made from Muscovite with a hardness of 2-2.5. Talcum powder is made from a form of Magnesium Hydroxide with a hardness of 1! Pure lead had a hardness of 1.5 and copper (copper gascheck) a hardness of 2.5-3! Let alone the consideration of antimony and tin.

Somebody needs to get a life! When it comes to stuffing abrasive material down yer bore, the projectile itself dose a lot more damage than these powders, or lint, or coated cleaning rods. The residual carbon fowling being ground down the bore shot after shot more than likely has the most wear affect on the bore. Mica and talcum powder is about the softness material you can stick down yer bore.

Hey drsquat, I'd go ahead and use Talcum powder and find one with a goooood smell added to it for more pleasant shooting sessions, unless someone objects to the added smell is too abrasive :)....................Dan

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drsquat posted this 25 March 2007

lol thanks Dan, I believe I will

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Ed Harris posted this 26 March 2007

Geo. wrote: What you guys (excepting Ed) do not realize is that the suggestion to use Calcium Stearate is an astute one.

Calcium Stearate is the calcium soap of stearic acid. If you dissolved sodium stearate, as in normal soap, in hard water you would get a certain percentage of calcium stearate as hard-water scum.

Back in the days of yore when Col. Harrison and crew did the NRAs seminal work on cast bullets, they noted that waterpump grease made good bullet lube. Waterpump greases were often based in a calcium soap formula.

Alox is a calcium based soap that was originally meant for the auto industry (and others) as a protective coating. I would be more correct to state that the family of Alox protectives contains compounds made of calcium-based soaps.

So--give it a try because the chemistry is correct and advantageous.

Yup!  -  all correct.

I wasn't going to bore everyone with the details, just know that it works and you can buy it in at the drug store.  

8-)

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Shuz posted this 26 March 2007

Thanks, Dan, for putting the abrasiveness in perspective. I'm prolly a lot more abrasive at times than Mica! I'll continue to use it because it sure makes the cast bullets a lot easier to handle.

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CB posted this 26 March 2007

Shuz,

Ya, I'm an old rock hounder and my son is a geologist. The Mohs scale hardness is just a relative test for identifying rock specimens, so it isn't absolute. Talc is the softest rock out there, so none of this was making sense to me. Talc is ground pretty fine for talcum powder and if it was abrasive, they sure wouldn't put it on baby's butts!..............Dan

Oh drsquat, that reminds me. We used to use scorched corn starch on our baby's butt and it worked better than talcum powder. Maybe corn starch would werk fer yer bullets?

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Shuz posted this 27 March 2007

Thanks again!

I just loaded up about a hunnert rounds of RCBS 120's coated with Midway Mica for my .250 Sav., in preperation for this Sat's CBA match in Spokane.

Ray

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JeffinNZ posted this 27 March 2007

Dan Willems wrote: Shuz,

Ya, I'm an old rock hounder and my son is a geologist. The Mohs scale hardness is just a relative test for identifying rock specimens, so it isn't absolute. Talc is the softest rock out there, so none of this was making sense to me. Talc is ground pretty fine for talcum powder and if it was abrasive, they sure wouldn't put it on baby's butts!..............Dan

Oh drsquat, that reminds me. We used to use scorched corn starch on our baby's butt and it worked better than talcum powder. Maybe corn starch would werk fer yer bullets? So Shuz's bullets have diaper rash then?  :P

Cheers from New Zealand

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TRKakaCatWhisperer posted this 28 March 2007

Shuz wrote: TRK--Where did you see that mica was abrasive? I've been using Midway Mica for years to keep the NRA 50/50 and other soft lubes from being soo messy. Now just because I'm using it, doesn't make it right,but how come so many have advocated using it for the same purpose I do? Inquiring minds wanna know? Where can I “look it up"?--thanks,Shuz Shuz -  I think Dan W. did put it into perspective.  I simply did a google search on Mica and found there are 29 types natural and synthetic and that it was used as a polishing agent - a very mild one.  How bad is it?  That's been addressed.  Is calcium stearate better - I think so. 

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CB posted this 29 March 2007

The question asked was:

what does anyone think about using  talcum powder applied to lube bullets to make them easier to handle?  (drsquat)

The point isn't which is less abrasive, because I also made a point that the lead bullet and copper jacket is a harder material. I worked around ground mica and Zinc stearate every day at work for 16 years. The applications for coatings were used for completely different processes and the mica was a far superior coating when applied to a tacky material.

How bad is ground mica? There is absolutely no 'haz mat' warning for it! We did not use or wear any protective mask or clothing, at the manufacturer's recommendation and OSHA's guidance. I would leave work shining with a coating of mica all over me and just as much in my lungs. Mica was everywhere in the air and on the steel machinery, which I never noticed wear away from abrasion.............Dan

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